A show was based around the lives of three misfit priests who had been consigned to the most remote parish in Ireland – Craggy Island. Father Jack was a violent, womanising, alcoholic old priest whose vocabulary had been reduced to four words – “arse”, “feck”, “drink” and “girls”. Father Dougal was a six-year old trapped in the body of an overgrown six-year old, an outcast from the church since the incident at Black Rock (“Real people were hurt Dougal!” “Ah sure they were only nuns Ted”). Father Ted was the only relatively sane one, but also the most hated by the bishop, due to the funds for the cancer charity “resting” in Ted’s account while he was on holiday in Las Vegas.

Between them, they administered their own brand of religion to the insane, inbred locals of Craggy Island. Not to mention the large Chinese community.

The cast itself was a brilliantly assembled. The three ages of Irish comedy were represented - Frank Kelly, it's glorious past, Dermot Morgan, its present, and Ardal O'Hanlon, fresh from winning the Perrier Award, the bright prospect of the future. It also managed to give a cameo to practically every Irish stand-up in the business at the time, regardless of their stature (for example, the unknown semi-professional Pat McDonnel got a starring role in one episode as singer Eoin McLove).

Despite the all-Irish cast and writing team, it was picked up by the English broadcaster Channel 4 . It’s a pity really – one of the funniest things about Father Ted was its mix of acid-drenched surrealism and absolutely spot-on observations about Ireland. Everyone in Ireland knows at least one Mrs. Doyle.

The show ran for three series (+ 1 Christmas special). After a slightly shaky start, it soared to the top of the ratings in the UK, which led to the rather funny sight of RTE desperately running to buy the rights.

Unfortunately, Father Ted never made it beyond the third series. Dermot Morgan, aka Ted, died a few weeks before the final series was aired.

For a complete guide to the series, look at the best web page, The Craggy Island Examiner @ http://www.geocities.com/Paris/2694/craggy.html

Update: The Craggy Island Examiner now appears to be defunct. There are bits and pieces about Father Ted elsewhere on the web, but nothing as comprehensive as this site used to be.

Writing Credits:

Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews

Cast:

Fr. Ted CrillyDermot Morgan
Fr. Dougal McGuireArdal O’Hanlon
Fr. Jack HackettFrank Kelly
Mrs. DoylePauline McGlynn

Episode Guide

Series 1

  • Good Luck Father Ted
  • Entertaining Father Stone
  • The Passion Of St Tibulus
  • Competition Time
  • And God Created Woman
  • Grant Unto Him Eternal Rest

    Series 2

  • Hell
  • Think Fast, Father Ted
  • Tentacles Of Doom
  • The Old Grey Whistle Theft
  • A Song For Europe
  • The Plague
  • Rock-a-hula Ted
  • Cigarettes, Alcohol and Rollerblading
  • New Jack City
  • Flight Into Terror

    Christmas Special

  • A Christmassy Ted

    Series 3

  • Are You Right There, Father Ted?
  • Chirpy Burpy Cheap Sheep
  • Speed 3
  • The Mainland
  • Escape From Victory
  • Kicking Bishop Brennan Up The Arse
  • Night Of The Nearly Dead
  • Going To America
  • Some fantastic moments of this hilarious series:

    • Graham Norton's TV debut as the completely insane priest on ecstasy, Noel. The "razor sharp wit" referred to in the Graham Norton node isn't present in Father Ted, but he's still a laugh nonetheless, while being so annoying that you're actually happy to see him buried under a pile of rocks in The Mainland.
    • Dougal's diagram, helping him distinguish between reality and dreams, and then his twisted perception of this card in his own mind as he denigrates his faith mercilessly on live YV. Truly hilarious.
    • Thw whole episode Cigarettes, Alcohol and Rollerblading. Ted isn't allowed to smoke, Jack can't drink and Dougal is prevented from...rollerblading. Yes, rollerblading.
    • Dougal and the button in the airplane cockpit. A big red button, Dougal's child like mind, a big notice saying "DO NOT PRESS"...this really is too funny for words.
    • As is Ted and the perfectly square bit of dirt on the window, lined up with him performing a large range of arm exercises to make him the spitting image of Hitler.
    • The "Song For Europe" episode-Ted and Dougal perform their song ("Like a man on a train, like a man on a...(I think I can get this one)...train...") in front of Jack and Mrs Doyle. Jack then withdraws a small shotgun and shoots Ted's guitar with it. It's more hilarious than it sounds.
    • Dougal taking his task of guarding the corner flags of a football patch very, very seriously, then Mrs Doyle nicking them anyway (which happens in a way which is inherently hilarious-watch it, you'll understand).

    If you can get this programme on DVD, buy it. I guarantee you will laugh at least 300 times...per episode. My pisspoor "translations" simply do not hold up to the random, eclectic humour of the programme itself.

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